Baseball: Tribe falls 11-2 as Quinnipiac sweeps weekend series

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Luca Farina. Courtesy Photo / Tribe Athletics

Senior outfielder Luca Farina recorded the first ever hit of his William and Mary career in the second game of this weekend’s series against Quinnipiac. His second and third career hits made him the standout player in Sunday’s series-ending game. Farina was one of only two College players to record a run and was the only player in the game to tally multiple hits, as Quinnipiac (3-3) completed their sweep of the Tribe’s (1-7) first home weekend series in an 11-2 blowout.

“I was just being aggressive at the plate,” said Farina. “It paid off in a couple hits, that always feels good. But obviously we’d like to figure this out as a team.”

Quinnipiac put up one run in the first inning and then four in the third, including three with two outs on the board, to put the Tribe down 5-0 going into the fourth. There was life in the team yet, and two runs from Farina and sophomore infielder Patrick Ryan cut the Bobcats’ lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Quinnipiac didn’t allow the Tribe to get closer than three, however, and continued to steadily pour on offense while playing shut-down defense, scoring two runs each in the fifth and sixth and holding the Tribe to zero. Although the College was able to keep its opponent off the board with solid innings from freshman pitcher Justin Pearson and sophomore pitcher Wade Strain in the seventh and eighth innings, they couldn’t muster up any answers at bat and headed into the ninth inning down 9-2.

“A couple of the bullpen guys did an okay job,” said head coach Brian Murphy. “Wade Strain had a good inning.”

The College couldn’t close out the game cleanly, and Quinnipiac put up two more runs in the top of the ninth to put the Tribe down by nine as it entered its last at-bat, 11-2.

“You can’t score nine runs without scoring one.” — FARINA

“I think it’s important at that point, just like any other point, to just take it one bat at a time,” said Farina. “You can’t score nine runs without scoring one.”

The Tribe walked one runner to first base in the bottom of the ninth, but a caught foul ball would end the game without the College getting any runner as far as home plate in the inning.

“[The Bobcats] were just on their game completely,” said Farina. “They were swinging their bats really well. They were making a ton of plays on defense and throwing a lot of strikes on the mound.”

That was the story all weekend, as the Bobcats put on an offensive showcase to put the Tribe down 6-1, 10-3 and 11-2 to make the College a decisive 0-3 on the weekend. It struggled to find an offensive touch all weekend, only putting up six runs to Quinnipiac’s 27 over the three-game stretch.

Despite junior infielder Zach Pearson scoring first in the opening game of the series on Friday, the Tribe had no response for Quinnipiac’s answering six runs and would quietly fall 6-1 at the end of the night. That 1-0 start to the game on Friday was the only lead the College held all weekend. Quinnipiac opened the game Saturday with an outpouring of runs, including four on a grand slam in the fourth inning from Evan Vulgamore, that put the Bobcats in front 9-0 going into the fifth inning. Although the College pieced together three runs in the next three innings to cut Quinnipiac’s lead to 9-3, the Bobcats topped off their victory with a final run in the ninth to finish the Tribe off 10-3 Saturday. That offensive momentum continued to carry them through Sunday’s 11-2 blowout.

“We got beaten in really every conceivable facet.” — MURPHY

“We got beaten in really every conceivable facet,” said Murphy. “[Quinnipiac] played really, really well. They got three good starts, I thought their lineup guys did a good job. They certainly took it to us.”

With the loss of this series, the Tribe drops to 1-7 on the season, having been swept in both of their weekend series so far. It will head to Charlottesville on Wednesday, looking to put the lessons it has learned this weekend to use in a weekday matchup against the Cavaliers.

“[Quinnipiac] definitely were the better team this weekend, but we’ll definitely be ready to go on Wednesday,” said Farina. “We gotta be ready to … play with confidence, play loose and try to have some fun, because I don’t think any of that was there this weekend.”